A company blog enables you to expand the breadth of your SEO campaign, by optimizing posts for strategically important long tail keywords. Surprisingly, few company blogs make use of this technique. Instead, their blog posts cover keywords already targeted on regular website pages, target keywords by feel, or ignore keywords altogether. This article explains how to optimize blog posts effectively with long tail keywords.
Product and Service Pages Have Limited Keyword Scope
First, it is important to recognize that the product/service pages of your regular website pages can be optimized for only a few keywords. Trying to optimize, say, 20 keywords on a 500-word page is unlikely to be effective. Most pages of this type that we manage at our professional SEO company are optimized for 3-5 keywords only — usually the most popular, relevant and highly converting keywords possible.
This leaves a lot of room for additional keywords that can either be targeted on new product/service pages placed lower in the hierarchy, or on blog posts. Blog posts are often the preferable option, because piling on scores of pages to the product/service section of the website complicates site navigation, and is likely to confuse and frustrate users, killing lead generation.
Blogs have additional SEO value, as they facilitate the steady, ongoing addition of new, relevant content — something that impresses Google crawlers.
Selecting Long Tail Keywords
For which long tail keywords should your posts be optimized? Three keyword attributes are particularly important, all of which need to be considered.
- Relevance. Remember, the goal of your blog and of SEO in general is not traffic, but instead relevant traffic and conversions. Long tail keywords should be relatively specific, and as such must be exceedingly relevant. If you optimize for “luxury kitchen cabinet remodeling in boise”, that is precisely the service under discussion on the blog post, and something your company does.
- Buying Intent. Long tail keywords that include phrases such as “compare prices”, “delivered to my home” and “lowest cost” suggest strong buying intent. If your blog’s primary purpose is lead generation (as opposed to education, customer engagement, etc.), you should definitely select keywords with strong buying intent.
- Popularity. Long tail search terms are, by definition, less popular than the more general terms your product/service pages target — the value of long tail keywords is less competition, higher relevance, and ideally, greater conversion potential. Nevertheless, if you select keywords with no or minimal popularity, they will have little or no impact on traffic or anything else.
Execution of the Long Tail Strategy
Once you’ve identified the long tail keywords you want to target (think 1-3 per post), you are ready to proceed. Important bases to cover in your execution:
- Lay out an editorial calendar detailing for each post the keywords to be optimized and a working title. Naturally, the title and eventual content of the post should be relevant to those keywords.
- Make sure to include a call to action at the end of your post that prompts readers to submit an inquiry form or phone you.
- As an additional call to action, link your blog post to the most relevant product/service page on your site. This not only creates a lead funnel, but also strengthens the internal linking structure of your domain, alerting Google of the importance of those regular product/service pages.
- Consider retrofitting long tail keywords on previously published posts. This is especially useful when you have many more keywords to optimize than blog posts to publish.
- With regard to word count, SEO specialists differ widely on what is required. As a rule of thumb, fewer than 300 words is probably not enough, and more than 1,000 words is probably more than necessary. If you let common sense be your guide and concentrate on getting the important ideas across to your audience, word count usually takes care of itself.
Be sure to incorporate long tail keywords in your blog posts. No matter how well your blog is doing, covering more of these keywords will only make it better.